We have one of the wines of the vintage for Spain today from Marqués de Murrieta, which is James Suckling's #1 Spanish wine of 2023. Established by Luciano Murrieta in 1852, Marqués de Murrieta is a pioneering winery in the Rioja region of Spain, known for introducing Bordeaux winemaking techniques to Spain. Covering 300 hectares of vineyards in the Rioja Alta area (one of the best spots of Rioja), it consistently produces wines that reflect the rich terroir and varied climate of the region. The winery combines traditional and modern winemaking methods, adhering to a philosophy of quality and sustainability. Over the years, Marqués de Murrieta has maintained a reputation for consistently producing high-quality wines, marked by the distinct Rioja Alta character.
The crown jewel of Marqués de Murrieta is the Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, a wine that exemplifies the winery's commitment to excellence. With a history dating back to the 19th century, this wine is only produced in the best vintages, making it a rare and sought-after label.
The Gran Reserva Especial is known for its meticulous selection of grapes, primarily Tempranillo (81%) and Mazuelo (19%), from the La Plana single vineyard located at the highest altitude of the Ygay Estate planted in 1950. The grapes are destemmed and are fermented separately by subplot. After alcoholic fermentation, the varietals are aged separately for 34 months with the Tempranillo in 225L American oak and the Manzuelo in 225L French oak. After the final blend was completed, the wine was left to rest in a concrete tank for an additional year before it was bottled and stored in their cellar until its release in 2023, developing a complex array of flavors and aromas. The Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial is an iconic wine celebrated for its balance, structure, and aging potential. It is often regarded as a benchmark for quality in the Rioja region, with 2012 being a stand-out vintage and one of the best of all time.
James Suckling 100 points! #1 Spanish Wine of 2023! "So much dried flower, mushroom, iron, rust, sweet berry, and grilled orange. Full-bodied with very elegant and refined tannins that melt in the mouth and give a real sense of place and integrity. Balanced and harmonious. The finesse and finish is endless. Production was 30% less than in 2011. Already so drinkable. A wonderful future. This is the new 1934 or 1964, two legends. Drink or hold."